At Christmas time this year I looked into booking a chef's table at one of the Boston restaurants and treating Nick for one of his gifts. I heard that Via Matta had one of the few legitimate chef's tables left in the city, but throughout my searches 10 Tables in JP kept popping up as another viable option. Christmas came and went, and other gift inspiration struck, so I kept this idea in my back pocket for later. Later turned out to be our two year anniversary. Given the wedding coming up and all our other activities, we decided to treat ourselves to a great dinner instead of exchanging presents. So, about two months ago I called and asked about the chefs table and made the reservation for our dinner date. I'm not going to lie, I was very excited for our dinner.
Before heading out, Nick didn't listen to our little rules and surprised me with flowers - I mean, what type of girl does not like to get surprised with those?!
Being the cost savers we were we took the T all the way to JP. However, it was a perfect evening to walk through the garden and enjoy the perfect weather.
|On our way to dinner|
Having heard amazing things about the chef's four course tasting menu, both of us decided to forgo any particular menu item and put our faith in the chef's capable hands. We were not disappointed at all. Our first course was the chef's pate platter with pork pate, chicken liver mousse, and lamb, which were accompanied by some toasted bread and some great spicy mustard mixed with loads of horseradish. The lamb and the pork were amazing and didn't even need the mustard, but it just made it even better.
For dinner we ordered a bottle of Gassac red wine - a blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Syrah. It was a great bottle and totally turned me onto this region of wine! While it wasn't a part of the menu, I guess the pastry/salad cook liked us because he gave us each a small Greek salad. The feta was really fresh and the oil dressing what amazingly light, to the point where I was willing to switch to Greek olive oil from now on! For the actual second course we were served a piece of pan fried perch on top of cauliflower, chick peas and escarole. The perch was perfectly cooked, but what I loved was the chick peas - they were warm and delicious. I cannot wait to attempt to make this at home.
For the next course we had duck served over wild rice. Again, the duck was nicely cooked and the rice had some great seasoning that made it much better than your typical rice dish.
Since we were done with the bottle of wine, we decided to get coffee and frangelico topped off with fresh whipped cream. For dessert we actually were served two different items - one was a panacotta and the other a flour-less chocolate cake with Thai basil ice cream. The chocolate cake was served with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt that added a great flavor that took down the sweetness a bit. I had never had Thai basil ice cream, but it totally worked! You got a really creamy taste with just a hint of the basil flavor at the end. The panacotta was also creamy and such a good consistency.
Even though we were super full at this point I heard the head chef tell the cook in front of us that he could serve us another dessert or a cheese platter if we wanted. Nick said he was OK, but I was definitely interested! So, we got a cheese plate which was served with some honey and bread, as well as almonds cooked in olive oil and sea salt and red wine-soaked sour cherrys. This was the perfect little ending to our meal.
Needless to say we left dinner more than satisfied with everything! Sitting at the chefs table was so much fun, and having a birds eye view of everything going on in the kitchen was really interesting. These guys truly are masters. The salad/pastry chef answered a number of questions we had about what was going on. I think in the future it would be hard to go back without sitting at this table! I would completely recommend 10 Tables, but really you need to go to the chefs table - it is one of the best experiences! I plan on going back very soon and trying some of the other amazing menu items we saw go out of the kitchen.
On our taxi ride home we actually were treated to a fireworks show over the Charles.
|A show for us!|